Antioxidants have protective qualities
Green tea is lauded for its many health benefits – it guards against heart disease, diabetes, cancer, weight gain, even tooth decay. New research continues to stack up its merits. Its secret? This brew is naturally rich in a group of antioxidants called catechins. Recently, US researchers found evidence of this compound’s osteoprotective effect.
“Green tea has a higher concentration of catechins and appears to benefit bone health more than other kinds of tea, such as black and oolong,” says Dr Leslie Shen of Texas Tech University. Early research from Hong Kong also suggests green tea’s catechins can benefit the eye, with signs that it is absorbed by the lens, retina and other eye tissues.
THE MEDICINAL BREW
What makes green tea so special? Unlike black tea, its production involves little processing and fermentation, keeping catechin concentration especially high.
A University of Florida study looked at the effect of green tea during flu season. Those participants who took a capsule with decaffeinated green tea extract twice a day for three months experienced 32% fewer cold and flu symptoms compared with the placebo group. Of those who did become ill, only 6% needed a doctor.